Last week, I wrote about some clean beauty products that I loved, and two that I had decided not to repurchase. In my post you can read here, I shared that I recently decided not to use Davids Natural Toothpaste anymore because the formula includes carrageenan.
Eric Buss, the founder and president of Davids, reached out to me over the weekend to say he had seen my post and wanted to share his thoughts on the matter. Since this is new territory for me, I asked if I could share his email here for you to read as well. I’m in the process of doing some additional research and putting together a full post on this ingredient soon—it will include the resources and information that led me to be cautious of carrageenan in the first place and whether or not I personally will choose to use it in the future.
Check out Eric’s email below, and be sure to leave any comments or questions that I can pass on to him if you’d like me to. In the meantime, stay tuned for my thoughts and response! XO
We see that you created a really nice review for us a few months back, but also noticed that you recently posted that you would not be purchasing Davids again due to your concerns about carrageenan….very sorry to hear this!Here is some info on this ingredient that I hope you might consider…..There is a small (and loud) group of individuals that keep spreading the belief that carrageenan is “bad, “toxic”, “causes cancer” and this is simply false information. Most of the confusion came about because there is a NON-food grade ingredient called Poligeenan, that also goes by the name of Degraded Carrageenan. This ingredient is Never used in food or personal care products, but does have some industrial applications. Carrageenan is simply natural seaweed that is hand harvested from the ocean, cooked, dried and finely milled to a dry powder form. When we make toothpaste, we add the Carrageenan (seaweed powder) in with the water and other liquids, and it helps gives toothpaste it’s gel consistency. Without it’s use, the toothpaste would have a consistency of thick syrup, and would be runny. Carrageenan has a very long safety record being used in ice cream, baby formula, toothpaste, and many other food products.
Poligeenan (NON-food grade Degraded Carrageenan) takes the same natural seaweed, but uses harsh acids and other chemicals in it’s processing to make the final industrial ingredient. There is no issue with the seaweed, but the processing with the acids is what makes it unfit for human consumption. This ingredient is not designed to be ingested by humans, but has been confused with Carrageenan (Food Grade), because they share such a similar name (Carrageenan vs. Degraded Carrageenan). Unfortunately when less informed people refer to Carrageenan as “dangerous” they dont realize that they are actually referring to Degraded Carrageenan, so again has caused much confusion.
Besides the confusion that has been caused by having a Food Grade and Non-Food Grade variant, there is a second factor that has added to the confusion. There is a SMALL number of people that have a hard time digesting Carrageenan. Just like there are a number of people that have trouble eating foods with Glutens, there are some people that have difficulty digesting this ingredient. Just as wheat & barley are not “Toxic”, just because a small group has trouble with the ingredient, it is much the same with Carrageenan. If we were producing a milk product, ice cream, yogurt, etc, where carrageenan is commonly used, than our product would be fine for 95% of the population, but there would be a potential concern for the remaining group that might have trouble digesting the carrageenan. Because toothpaste is not a food product, and is not going through the digestive tract, this really is a Non-Issue. Even for people who have trouble digesting carrageenan, there is no issue using in a toothpaste application….simply the very best and safest ingredient for a toothpaste application.Here is a link with some good basic info….http://www.foodsciencematters.com/an-abridged-history-of-research-into-the-safety-of-carrageenan/
Many people that take ingredients very seriously consider the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to be one of the most trusted independent authorities on ingredient safety ratings, and EWG give Carrageenan a “1” rating- Safest Rating Possible.
Also, Davids is rated an overall “1” in the EWG database, which is the very best rating possible for having safe and clean ingredients
Additionally, Davids is certified under their EWG VERIFIED program for having the Cleanest & Safest ingredients possible, and you will see the new designation for this on our packaging.
One of the unfortunate consequences stemming from the misinformation about carrageenan, is that it has put pressure on manufacturers to appease their customers, so some companies have switched from carrageenan to xanthum gum, which is a fermented bacteria, that raises a whole host of health concerns. Some have gone to Guar Gum, which again poses a number of health concerns. These companies have chosen to try to appease their customers in avoid potential controversy, over the quality and safety of their own product. Essentially, they have allowed internet misinformation dictate their product. At Davids, we would rather combat the misinformation head on with the facts, rather than lower the safety of our toothpaste with less safe alternate ingredients.
Our goal in creating Davids was to make the most natural and safest toothpaste possible, and we knew about these rumors when we developed Davids, but after studying this in detail, we decided that we would not let internet rumors stop us from using a safe and natural ingredient that helped make our toothpaste the best possible. Davids is the only toothpaste that my wife, children, and I use, because I know how natural and safe it is, and would never allow otherwise.
Please let me know if you have additional questions about this. Would love to get your feedback after you’ve had a chance to evaluate.
Eric Buss | Founder & President
Davids Natural Toothpaste, Inc